Merit Badge Counselors – Resources

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Helpful Resources

Merit Badge Counselor Guide

Introduction to Merit Badges

-  Introduction to Merit Badges (from Scout point of view)

-  List of current merit badges with links to requirements

List of New and Upcoming Merit Badges


Youth Protection

ypYouth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers, including Merit Badge Counselor.  Youth Protection training must be taken every two years. If a volunteer does not meet the BSA’s Youth Protection training requirement at the time of recharter, the volunteer will not be reregistered.

To find out more about the Youth Protection policies of the Boy Scouts of America and how to help Scouting keep your family safe, see the Parent’s Guide in any of the Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting handbooks, or go to


NOTE:  These Merit Badges Need Extra Qualifications to Teach

Some merit badges now have certain requirements, from National, for those that wish to be counselors for these badges.   Below are the merit badges and the qualifications required to be a merit badge counselor for them in our council.

Rifle & Shotgun Shooting

All instruction involving the handling of firearms or live ammunition must be supervised by a certified BSA National Camping School shooting sports director or NRA shooting instructor or coach. (NRA certification in type of firearm in use, ie – rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader). The balance of instruction does not require any type of certification beyond the counselor being approved by the council advancement committee. Note that the instruction involving the handling of firearms and live ammunition can be done by an uncertified MBC as long as the MBC is supervised by a certified person. Also if the certified person is not an approved MBC the MBC must be present to sign off the requirements.


Canoeing MBC must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association or American Red Cross.


All climbing, belaying and rappelling exercises and activities must be supervised by a qualified rock climbing instructor, at least 21 yrs old and who is trained in BSA Climb on Safely. Training as a BSA climbing director or instructor is preferred. Someone certified in First Aid/CPR/AED from the American Red Cross (or equivalent) must be present at these activities. The MBC does not have to hold these certifications but must ensure someone with the proper certifications is present with the exception of class room instruction.


Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by an adult at least 21 yrs old with certification in Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED or equivalent, and also as a BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent


Rowing MBC must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or equivalent.


All phases of Scuba instruction are limited to instructors trained and sanctioned by one of the following: PADI, NAUI, SSI, IDEA, PDIC, SDI or be a member of the World Recreational Scuba Council.


Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be conducted according to BSA Safe Swim Defense and BSA Safety Afloat.

Snow Sports

Activities in the field must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult 21 years old or older who is committed to compliance with BSA Winter Sports Safety as defined in the Guide To Safe Scouting.


BC must be certified as whitewater canoeing or kayaking instructors by the American Canoe Association.